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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's close circle of friends in California revealed

Find out who's keeping the Sussexes company

meghan markle friends
Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are happily settled in the States, nearly two and a half years after they stepped back from royal duties. They're living their best life in their £11million mansion in Montecito, Santa Barbara with their two children Archie, three, and Lilibet, who turned one in June. 

PHOTOS: Prince Harry and Meghan's son Archie looked adorable on playdate with George, Charlotte and Louis

While Los Angeles-born Meghan has friends in her home state, find out who has made it into the couple's inner circle in California.

Read more about the couple's close pals...

WATCH: Inside Prince Harry and Meghan's luxury Montecito home

Serena Williams

meghan markle and serena williams friend© Photo: Getty Images

Tennis pro Serena Williams first crossed paths with Meghan back in 2014 at a charity football match. "We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing and chatting—not about tennis or acting, but about good old-fashioned girly stuff. So began our friendship…

"She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was travelling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with a couple of weeks ago in Toronto," Meghan previously wrote on her now-defunct lifestyle website The Tig.

Serena used to be one of Meghan's neighbours when the Sussexes were briefly based in LA before moving to Montecito; the friends both lived in the same gated community in the exclusive Beverly Hills 90210 postcode. 

SEE: Royals as awkward teenagers: see Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and more in their younger years

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom

katy perry and orlando bloom meghan friend© Photo: Getty Images

The American singer and the British actor own a property in Santa Barbara in the same gated community as Harry and Meghan. 

Speaking on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast in May 2021, Harry opened up about paparazzi attention and how his life in Montecito has allowed him more privacy.

"Having moved, has it got better?" Dax asked the royal. "Yeah, way better," Harry said, before adding: "Just two days ago Orlando Bloom sent me a message because he's down the road and we sort of keep in contact because of the paparazzi."

SEE: 7 sweet photos of royal children kissing their parents in public

Oprah Winfrey

meghan markle and oprah

Oprah is a firm member of Meghan and Harry's 'squad' – they gave their first tell-all interview to the chat show host in 2021 after leaving royal life behind, plus their son Archie is a member of her book club, too. The media mogul was also a guest at the 2018 royal wedding.

Oprah owns a £40.9million mansion in Montecito, California. Dubbed 'The Promised Land', it could make an excellent little getaway for the Sussexes.

MORE: Meghan Markle films inside whimsical garden at £11million home with Prince Harry

James Corden

james corden and prince harry friend

James Corden has been friends with Harry for years, hence his invitation to the royal wedding in 2018 and more exclusive night-time reception. Harry also starred in The Late Late Show with James Corden show in 2021, where the pair rode a double-decker tourist bus around LA and the Duke opened up about life since leaving royal duties.

James lives in Brentwood, LA, with his family and was no doubt a friendly face for Harry when he first moved to California. The Brit is now heading back to the UK though after quitting his show.

Katharine McPhee

meghan markle katherine foster© Photo: Instagram

Meghan and fellow actress Katharine grew up and performed in musicals together when they were kids. Katharine and her music producer husband David Foster were pictured joining Harry and Meghan at Lucky's Steakhouse in Montecito in October 2020.

And last year, Katharine spoke about her husband's relationship with the Prince, revealing they were "like father and son". In an interview with Access Hollywood, she said: "My husband has a really, really beautiful relationship with Harry. They're like, they're so cute. They're like father and son." 

MORE: Prince Harry & Meghan's £11.2million house is full of hidden references - see inside

Abigail Spencer

meghan markle friend abigail spencer© Photo: Getty Images

Abigail Spencer starred with Meghan on Suits, but they were friends long before the hit TV show. "I saw her and was like, 'Who is this gorgeous girl?' She was just so stunning and there was just something about her, and that's how we met," Abigail previously told ET.

The actress was also a guest at the royal wedding and helped throw Meghan her New York baby shower. She was even spotted hiking with Meghan and Harry near Vancouver Island during their six-week Christmas break in 2019. 

Priyanka Chopra

meghan markle friend priyanka chopra© Photo: Instagram

Priyanka Chopra lives in the same neighbourhood as her pal Meghan, so will no doubt be a regular guest once life returns to 'normal'. The duo have been friends for years, and Priyanka was also in attendance at Meghan and Harry's wedding.

Rumours of a rift in their friendship surfaced after Meghan failed to make the nuptials of Priyanka and her now-husband Nick Jonas in India, in December 2018. However, Meghan was pregnant with Archie at the time, and following his birth in May 2019, Priyanka and Nick were among the first to visit the new parents at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor. They even reportedly went armed with a number of baby gifts from jewellers Tiffany & Co.

Doria Ragland

meghan markle doria ragland© Photo: Getty Images

No 'inner circle' would be complete without Meghan's mum Doria Ragland. The social worker and yoga teacher has been a constant presence in Meghan's life and spent plenty of time in the UK to support her daughter in the run-up to the royal wedding and baby Archie's birth.

Doria is no doubt a regular visitor to Harry and Meghan's home to get in plenty of time with her grandson and granddaughter Lilibet, who was born in June 2021.

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